Test: Olympus Stylus 1000 | Popular Photography

Test: Olympus Stylus 1000

With digital compact cameras now passing the 10MP threshold, we decided to put the top five models to the test in order to help you determine which one may be right for you.

Test-Olympus-Stylus-1000

Test-Olympus-Stylus-1000

Test: Olympus Stylus 100050332137745OlympusStylus 1000The Olympus Stylus 1000 puts a nice-looking spin on the typical box-and-circle camera design. This 3x (25-105mm equivalent) zoom, 10MP ultra-compact digicam has got a nice wedge effect going on so that the retracting zoom is both indented into and protruding slightly from the body. And the best part: it's weatherproof. But be careful; the Stylus 1000 can handle wet and wild weather, but not a full dunk in the pool! The ISO range goes all the way to 1600 at full resolution, and drops to 2048x1536 to crank the ISO to a ridiculous 6400. So, this is the camera to bring if you absolutely must shoot snapshots in a dark, wet cave. They'll be noisy and low resolution, but at least it'll get something on the sensor. Still, the Stylus 1000 is what you'd call a very slow camera. Processing time between shots, especially as the ISO is cranked, is very long compared to its competitors -- upwards of two to three seconds at times. Of course, it's got a selection of scene modes, more than 20, which should help the beginner get good snaps whatever the occasion. Oh, did we mention, this camera is totally newbie-friendly? Right on the mode dial, just south of movie mode, is the Shooting Guide, which offers helpful tips for getting the right shots. The playback function comes with a slideshow option and a pre-loaded loop of background music. Luckily this can be turned off. There are also a handful of image quality adjustment options, including cropping, resizing, sepia tone, framing choices, brightness, and saturation, to name a few.

The Olympus Stylus 1000 puts a nice-looking spin on the typical box-and-circle camera design. This 3x (25-105mm equivalent) zoom, 10MP ultra-compact digicam has got a nice wedge effect going on so that the retracting zoom is both indented into and protruding slightly from the body.

And the best part: it's weatherproof. But be careful; the Stylus 1000 can handle wet and wild weather, but not a full dunk in the pool!

The ISO range goes all the way to 1600 at full resolution, and drops to 2048x1536 to crank the ISO to a ridiculous 6400. So, this is the camera to bring if you absolutely must shoot snapshots in a dark, wet cave. They'll be noisy and low resolution, but at least it'll get something on the sensor.

Still, the Stylus 1000 is what you'd call a very slow camera. Processing time between shots, especially as the ISO is cranked, is very long compared to its competitors -- upwards of two to three seconds at times.

Of course, it's got a selection of scene modes, more than 20, which should help the beginner get good snaps whatever the occasion. Oh, did we mention, this camera is totally newbie-friendly?

Right on the mode dial, just south of movie mode, is the Shooting Guide, which offers helpful tips for getting the right shots.

The playback function comes with a slideshow option and a pre-loaded loop of background music. Luckily this can be turned off. There are also a handful of image quality adjustment options, including cropping, resizing, sepia tone, framing choices, brightness, and saturation, to name a few.

The LCD is 2.5 inches diagonally, leaving ample room for the buttons and dials on the back of the camera. It is possible to comfortably hold this camera in one hand and shoot without covering the LCD with a thumb, which isn't as common as you might think!

The biggest issue with the camera is noise. Noise is under control at ISO 64 (2.1) and ISO 100 (2.5), but heads into Unacceptable territory at ISO 200 (3.1), 400 (3.9), 800 (3.3) and 1600 (3.7). At the reduced resolution ISO 3200, it drops back down to Moderate (2.6), but gets Unacceptable again at 6400 (3.1).

In color accuracy, it is the leader of the pack, with an Excellent score of 7.04 Average Delta E at ISO 64 AutoBalanced.

Resolution is Excellent at ISO 100 (2020), and 400 (1930), and Very High at ISO 1600.

Bottom Line:

The Olympus Stylus 1000 is a tough call. The camera's weatherized body and beginner-friendly menus are big plusses. Resolution is Excellent at low ISOs, but noise becomes Unacceptable at ISO 400. Color accuracy is among the best in its class we've tested, and so is its wide-angle distortion percentage. But processing time feels like forever, especially at higher ISOs. With better noise management and a faster processor, this would be a handy all-around camera, but for now, it's too slow and too noisy for us to love. Our recommendation: hold off on this model and wait for the upgraded replacement.

Certified Test Results:

Noise: Moderately Low at ISO 64 (2.1), Moderate at ISO 100 (2.5), Unacceptable at ISO 200 (3.1), ISO 400 (3.9), ISO 800 (3.3) and ISO 1600 (3.7)

Color: Excellent. Average Delta E: 7.04 ISO 64 Autobalanced.

Resolution: Excellent at ISO 64 (2020), Excellent at ISO 400 (1930) and Very High at ISO 1600.

Distortion: Visible Barrel at 1X (.38%), Slight Barrel at 2x (.11%), Imperceptible Pincushion at 3x (.05%)

In the Box:

Olympus Stylus 1000 $320
LI-12B Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery
LI-10C Battery Charger
USB Cable
Audio/Video Cable
Wrist Strap
Software CD-ROM (Olympus Master Software)
Advanced Manual on CD-ROM
Quick Start Guide
Basic Manual
1-Year U.S.A. Limited Warranty

Full specs from BH Photo:

Camera Type
Ultra Compact Point-and-shoot Digital Camera

Image Quality

Image Sensor
1/1.8" (1.41cm) 10.0 Megapixel CCD

Effective Resolution
10.0 million pixels

Color Depth
24-Bit RGB

Color Modes
Color, Black & White, Sepia

Image File Formats
JPEG (SHQ, HQ, SQ1/2)

Recorded Resolution
3648 x 2736
2560 x 1920
2304 x 1728
2048 x 1536
1920 x 1080 (16:9)
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
1024 x 768
640 x 480

Video Recording
QuickTime Motion JPEG with Sound
SHQ (640 x 480 @ 30fps)
HQ (320 x 240 @ 30fps)
SQ (160 x 120 @ 15fps)
Clip length limited only by available memory

Audio Recording
No

Optics

Lens Type
Olympus Zoom Lens (6 lenses in 4 groups with 4 aspherical lenses)

Optical Zoom
3x

Lens Focal Length
7.4mm - 22.2mm (35mm - 105mm equivalent)

Digital Zoom
5x

Minimum Focus Distance
3.9" (10cm)

Maximum Aperture
f/2.8-4.7

Optical Image Stabilization
No (Digital Image Stabilization is available)

Accessory Lens/Filter Mount
No

Focus Control

Focus Type
CCD Contrast Detection

Focus Modes
iESP Auto, Spot AF

Focus Range
Normal: 23.6" (60cm) - infinity
Macro: 11.8" (30cm) - infinity wide
Super Macro: 3.9" (10cm) - 23.6" (60cm)

Exposure Control

Sensitivity
Auto ISO
Selectable ISO (64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400)

Shutter Type
Not Specified

Shutter Speed
1/2 - 1/1000 second (up to 4 seconds in Night Scene Mode)

Aperture Range
f/2.8-4.7 (max.)

Exposure Metering
Digital ESP Multi-Pattern, Spot Metering

Exposure Modes
Auto, Program Auto, Scene Preset

White Balance Modes
iESP2 Multi-Pattern Auto TTL, Pre-Set (Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent1, Fluorescent2, Fluorescent3)

Scene Modes
Portrait, Landscape, Landscape & Portrait, Night Scene, Night & Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Available Light Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Museum, Cuisine, Behind Glass, Documents, Auction, Shoot & Select1, Shoot & Select2, Beach & Snow

Flash

Built-in Flash
Yes (Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off)

Effective Flash Range
Up to 17.1' (5.2m)

External Flash Connection
No

External Flash Control
Not Applicable

Performance

Start-Up Time
Not Specified

Shutter Lag
Not Specified

Time Between Shots
Not Specified

Burst Capability
3.6 fps up to 12 frames (SQ1 mode)

Self Timer
12 seconds

Interval Recording
No

Date & Time Stamp
No (Simultaneous recording into image data)

Memory & Power

Built-in Memory
28.5MB

Compatible Memory Cards
xD-Picture Card (up to 2GB)

Recording Capacity
Not Specified

Battery Type
LI-12B Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery

Power Adapter
D-7AC AC Adapter (optional) CB-MA1 DC coupler is required

Input/Output

Computer Interface
USB 2.0 (Full Speed) via Multi-terminal

Direct Print Capable
Yes (PictBridge)

Remote Control
No

Video Output
Yes (NTSC & PAL) via Multi-terminal

Web-Cam Capable
No

System & Software Requirements
Microsoft Windows 98SE, ME, 2000PRO, XP
Apple Macintosh OS 9.0 - 9.2x; OS X (10.1 - 10.4)

Display

Viewfinder
No

LCD Display
2.5" (6.4cm) TFT Color LCD (230,000 pixels)

Language Options
English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Czech (additional languages available via download)

Playback Options
Single, Index Display (4/9/16/25), Up to 10x Enlargement, Slideshow, Rotation, Calendar, Album, Image Edit (Digital Image Stabilization Edit, Lighting Fix, Red-Eye Fix, Resize, Trimming, Rotation, Black & White, Sepia, Frame, Label, Calendar, Layout, Brightness, Saturation), Movie Playback (Normal, Reverse, Frame-By-Frame), Movie Edit (Edit, Frame Index)

Physical

Dimensions (HxWxD)
2.2 x 3.8 x 0.9" (57 x 97 x 23mm)

Weight
4.9 oz. (140g) without battery
Yes (NTSC & PAL) via Multi-terminal

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